Quick, Prepare Ahead Family Meals

While life has always been busy, being quarantined has made it even more difficult to cook family meals with limited groceries and time. Here are some favorite family meals that can be prepared during your child’s nap or quiet time and then placed in the oven or on the grill for quick family meals. These family meals can be created from fresh, canned, or frozen ingredients.

Quick, Prepare Ahead Family Meals

Chicken and Peppers

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat chicken with Italian seasoning to taste and place in a 9×13” glass baking dish. Wash and slice bell peppers. Layer the bell peppers over chicken breast in a baking dish. Top with feta cheese and squeeze lemon over the entire dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Family meals that may be prepared ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake are always winners. This is one of our favorite family meals and is on repeat in our house!


  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • dried onion soup mix
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs [store bought or food processed stale loaf of bread]
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • Meatloaf glaze
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine soup mix, bread crumbs, eggs, ketchup in a large bowl or zip lock bag. Fold in meat. In a 9×13” baking dish shape into a loaf and top with glaze. Bake for one hour or until meat is cooked to your preference. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

Read More: Hidden Veggie Meatloaf for Toddlers

Pork Chops

  • 4 pork chops (may use chicken or steak)
  • 2 zucchini sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • red pepper flakes, salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce
  • parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F. Slice the red bell peppers and zucchini. Combine vegetables with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and spread in a single layer on one side of the pan. Add marinara sauce to the empty side of the pan, place pork chops on the sauce and cover entirely with parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered until peppers are tender and pork reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145F, around 20-22 minutes.  Top with red pepper flakes to taste.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Adapted from DamnDelicious

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can chopped and drained green chilies
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (can, fresh, frozen)
  • 1/2 cup drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican, cheddar, or mozzarella)
  • shredded chicken (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)
  • sour cream topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Add two cups of water to a large saucepan, cook quinoa according to the package directions. Stir together quinoa, enchilada sauce, chilies, garlic, corn, black beans, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, chili powder, 1/2 cup of cheese, and optional chicken. Prepare an 8×8” cooking dish with nonstick spray. Spread quinoa mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with cheese and bake about 20 minutes. Serve with guacamole and/or sour cream.

Read More: 5 Easy Vegetarian Dinners

Broccoli Fish Bake

Adapted from The Skinnytaste Cookbook

  • 1 cup broccoli (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (may use canned tomatoes)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound frozen or fresh flounder (or any white fish)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450F. Prepare a 9×13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, then add broccoli. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally until crispy, about four minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for one minute. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for an additional minute.

Season the flounder with salt and pepper, to taste. Put fish in a prepared baking dish and drizzle with one teaspoon of oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with oregano.

Bake the fish for five minutes then top the fish with the tomato/broccoli mixture and parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and bake 10 more minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot.

Chicken, Potato and Green Bean Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups canned green beans drained or fresh green beans quartered
  • 2 cups potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 packet dry ranch or Italian dressing with 1 stick of melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13” cooking dish with nonstick spray. Place the green beans on one side of the dish, the chicken in the center, and the potatoes on the other side. Sprinkle the dry ranch or Italian dressing seasoning over the entire dish. Drizzle melted butter over the entire dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F, about 1 hour. 

Greek Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup feta cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or ¼ cup fresh
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Prepare the Lemon Greek Marinade by combining olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Place half of the marinade and cubed chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and refrigerate to marinate for up to one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the tomatoes, bell peppers, onions on a sheet pan with the other half of marinade. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven. Once roasted, stir the vegetables and push to either side of the baking sheet to make room for the chicken. Place cubed, marinated chicken in the center of the baking sheet and return it to the oven. Bake the chicken and vegetables until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F, about 25 minutes. Broil for the last five minutes to brown chicken and vegetables. 

Top with feta and olives. May be served with a tzatziki sauce. 

Homemade Healthy Turkey Burgers

Adapted from Helloadamsfamily.com

  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap
  • ½ of a shallot, quartered
  • handful parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • white cheddar cheese slices
  • 4 English muffins

Use a spoon to scrape out the gills of the portobello mushroom, discard gills. Cut the cap into rough quarters and put in a food processor with shallots and a handful of parsley. Pulse until chopped evenly. 

Transfer mixture to a bowl with your ground turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Gently mix together with your hands and form into four even patties. Put on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this will help keep them together). 

Preheat your grill to medium. Coat the grill with olive oil. Bake for about 7 minutes per side or until the turkey patties reach an internal temperature of 165F. Top with cheese and then cook until melted. Place English muffins facedown on the grill to toast. Serve this great family meal with spicy mustard and avocado or mayonnaise and sriracha. 

Grilled Ceasar Chicken with Pesto Green Beans and Potatoes 

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup Caesar dressing
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup croutons 
  • 1 cup fresh or canned green beans
  • 1 cup fresh or canned cubed potatoes (hint: canned potatoes grill better!)

Preheat the grill to medium. Rinse and pat dry green beans and potatoes. Create two foil pouches out of aluminum foil. Place green beans, pesto, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt in one prepared aluminum foil pouch. Roll the closed open end of the bag to seal and gently shake to mix. Place potatoes, two tablespoons of butter, paprika, salt and pepper in an additional foil pouch. Roll closed the end of the bag to seal and gently shake to coat. Coat chicken in 1 tablespoon olive oil. 

Place aluminum foil pouches on the grill and cook until tender for about 30 minutes. Place chicken on a hot grill and cook until browned, four to six minutes. Flip chicken and top with ceasar dressing. Cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F, about six additional minutes. 

Open the grill bags carefully to release steam. Place green beans and potatoes on plates, top with parmesan cheese. Crush croutons and place on top of grilled chicken breasts. 

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding 

What would be a list of favorite family meals without a tried and true dessert? 

Quick, Prepare Ahead Family Meals

Adapted from Epicurious

  • 1 1-pound loaf brioche* or egg bread with crust, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place bread in a large bowl; pour 8 tablespoons melted butter over bread and toss to coat. Add chocolate chips and toss to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.

Whisk half and half, 1 cup sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Pour over bread cubes in the dish. Let stand 30 minutes, occasionally pressing bread cubes into custard. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead). Cover and refrigerate.

Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter over pudding; sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake bread pudding until puffed, brown, and set in center, about 1 hour. Serve warm topped with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. 

*Brioche is a golden, light bread made from egg- and butter-enriched yeast dough. It is available at French bakeries and some large supermarkets.

Read More: Classic Cupcake Recipe

These family meals work great now during quarantine life, but they are also fabulous prepared ahead meals for entertaining to share with family and friends. Take time to enjoy these slower moments and delicious meals with your family. 

Still need more mealtime inspiration? Check out these easy Spring and Summer Favorites to freshen up family mealtime.

Sign up to receive our picks for the best things to do, see and buy so you can relax and focus on more important tasks! Let us help you be the best version of yourself you can be!

Photo Credits: pexels.com


Newsletter: Daily Mom delivered to you
: @DailyMomOfficial
Instagram: @DailyMomOfficial | @DailyMomTravel | @BestProductsClub
YouTube: @DailyMomVideos
Pinterest: @DailyMomOfficial


Quick, Prepare Ahead Family Meals
Kaitlyn lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter and fur baby. Kaitlyn tries to find beauty and joy in the simplicity of daily life while embracing the new mom lifestyle. Her favorite things are small towns, rosé, the beach, and homemade ice cream.

7 Easy Styling Tips for Your Oversized Button-Up

When it comes to styling tips, they're often most helpful with items you already have in your closet. This is a closet staple you...